It is not unusual when registering for something on-line to “click” a box by which you agree to accept certain terms governing the transaction. Before you “click” the box, have you actually read what it is you are agreeing to?
Increasingly eBay users are surprised to learn that if a problem develops with an eBay transaction, any claims against eBay must be brought exclusively in Santa Clara, California. This is because eBay includes a forum selection clause in its User Agreement. If you agree to the terms, and a problem develops down the line for which you believe eBay is responsible, more likely than not your rights will be determined in a California courtroom.
A Pennsylvania litigant surprised by eBay’s forum selection clause recently waged an unsuccessful challenge to the validity of the clause. The litigant, Dominic Tricome, filed suit in Pennsylvania and tried to fend off eBay’s attempts to dismiss or transfer the case by arguing that eBay’s User Agreement was procedurally and/or substantively unconscionable, and that litigating in California would be unduly burdensome. Judge C. Darnell Jones II of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, however, disagreed and found eBay’s forum selection clause to be “presumptively valid.” See Tricome v. eBay Inc, 2009 WL 3365873 (E.D.Pa.)
So, whether you are completing a registration for eBay or some other on-line business, to avoid surprise be sure to read the User Agreement and understand what it provides before you “click” to accept its terms.
Please contact UTBF for more information.